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Hansbrough, UNC advance to ACC semifinals

Mar 14, 2008 - 10:50 PM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Tyler Hansbrough and North Carolina took their first step toward repeating as champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Hansbrough scored 22 points Friday afternoon as top-ranked North Carolina advanced to the semifinals of the ACC tournament courtesy of an 82-70 triumph over Florida State.

The Tar Heels (30-2) captured their 16th ACC tourney crown last season en route to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

However, UNC has not won this event in consecutive years since 1997-98 - something Hansbrough clearly wants to change.

"I don't think any of us are really satisfied with this," Hansbrough said. "We're satisfied with the win, and we're moving on. But there are some things we didn't do that we want to improve on."

The Tar Heels' opponent in the penultimate round Saturday will be fourth seed Virginia Tech, a 63-49 winner over Miami on Friday.

A favorite for several national awards, Hansbrough shot 7-of-15 from the floor and made 8-of-10 free throws. The junior forward also grabbed six rebounds for the top-seeded Tar Heels, who will face either fourth seed Virginia Tech or fifth-seeded Miami in Saturday's semifinals.

Wayne Ellington scored 19 points and Marcus Ginyard added 10 and six rebounds for UNC, which led by as many as 15 points late in the second half.

Jason Rich scored 23 points to pace the ninth-seeded Seminoles (19-14), who have lost their last nine meetings with the Tar Heels.

The latest loss was a hard-fought one for Florida State, which hung with the high-powered Tar Heels through most of this matinee contest.

Florida State's Ryan Reid made a layup 10 minutes into the contest to forge a 20-20 tie. But UNC reeled off a 10-2 run over the next 5 1/2 minutes to take the lead for good.

Ellington drilled a 3-pointer with 32 seconds left in the first half as UNC entered the break with a 35-28 advantage.

The Tar Heels shot 59 percent (16-of-27) from the floor in the second half, methodically building their lead to double digits.

The Seminoles failed to cut their deficit below eight points over the final 10 minutes of the contest.

"They just had a little too much firepower for us," Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. "I thought we had a game plan that our players tried to implement.

"We had great looks, great shots, but this was one of those games where we needed to make more plays and make more baskets."

Toney Douglas scored 18 points while Reid chipped in 15 for the Seminoles, who made 10-of-21 shots from the arc.